I’ve been stressed. I’m a bit weary.
Having a busy lifestyle, lack of sleep and slight dread of my unknowable future has left me feeling a little depressed. I have to work out every single day to help my body get in shape. I let myself down when I don’t follow through. And I have this weight on me all the time. The weight that comes from responsibilities. A day off is never really a day off. A few precious hours of free time is always bogged down with guilt.
I’m scared when I wake up tired in the morning and have to go to a job that I don’t see a future in. I’m scared because I think about how fatigued and unhappy I am in my life and I wonder if it will be any different in the military. I’ll be the property of the government. They tell me when to wake up, when to go to sleep. The little bit of freedom I have will be taken away. These are always the first thoughts I have in the morning. They add to the weight.
Joining the military looks great on paper. It will add to my life story. When I’m an old woman I can proudly look back to that brave chapter. It will give me money for college, help pay down my debt, take me around the world. Instill meaning and direction in my otherwise mundane, small life.
I’m conflicted. I’m scared and want to cry. I want to cry because if I chicken out and don’t join, I’m out of idea’s as to what to do. I want to be fulfilled in my life, but I don’t know what can fill me.
When I was around nine or ten, I made a vow to myself to feel every emotion there is to feel. This includes the worst of them; loneliness, heartache, failure, betrayal, embarrassment. I wanted to know what it felt like to be poor, to work hard doing grunt work. I was a very weird kid. But I also wanted to feel the good stuff; To be rich, accomplished, happy, in love, proud….etc.
My reasoning was that if I felt all there is to feel, there would be nothing that went unappreciated. Nothing taken for granted. I would be a wise, well-rounded individual. These things will bring about fulfillment.
When my family taken me on car rides, I would stare at all the houses we drove by. Lined up side by side, one after the other – they turned into a big smear. People living in them, going to their Monday thru Friday jobs – to me, it was like living a singular life. One that is the same day after day. This made me feel that these people were all the same. The same people living the same life. I felt separate from them. My family was different. I was different.
My Mother didn’t help in my ostracizing. She never trusted strangers, always assumed the worst in them, and kept me well away from the vicinity of any non-family member of society.
People became a scary backdrop. Part of the landscape. Just a part of the world that I should stay away from. Alone with my strange thoughts and an overly protective Mother, I was forged into a nervous wreck of a child. I also became a hypochondriac. I kept my thermometer close by and a cool wash cloth for my ‘feverish’ forehead.
I remember going to my pediatrician and telling him I had asthma, or I needed glasses. He would respond with a chuckle. I told my parents I needed braces, and they didn’t argue with me on that.
I use to sit crossed legged in front of the tv all the time. My brother told me that I’m going to get tv eye syndrome.
“What’s tv eye syndrome?”
“It causes blindness.”
After I found out I had tv eye syndrome, for every birthday I had after that, I would make my blowing-out-the-candles wish: I hope I don’t go blind I hope I don’t go blind.
I’ve made that wish for five or six years straight.
I wrangled my psychosis under control, but every now and then I still encounter flare ups. But I won’t get into that just yet.
I was feeling down today and having second thoughts about joining the Navy until one of my clients unintentionally gave me hope. He was decked out in his Army fatigues, looking well and proud. When I started to massage his back, I asked him what his tatoo symbol meant; “Well, it’s supposed to mean soldier, but it could just mean hamburger. I didn’t think that one through.” He had a southern drawl.
He had another tatoo on his calf. A semi-long quote:
Be strong, be courageous. Dont be terrified. Dont be
discouraged. Have faith in God your Lord and know
he’ll always be by your side.
I’m almost positive that was written word for word on his calf.
One thing I havent experienced yet in this life is to be courageously brave. I thought that by getting a tatoo or my nipple pierced was brave enough, but now I see it wasn’t.
My life is like a cozy cabin in the woods. Warm and snug inside. When I visualize me being in the Navy, its like opening the front door, stepping outside in the cold bitterness and turning around to see that my home is no longer there. Once I’m gone, I’m gone and can never come back.
I fear that the thing I must learn has to be learned the hard way. That my warm cozy cabin is in me. Wherever I go, I will be home. I’ll be home because the people I love will still be with me. As long as I love, who I am fundamentally can not change. My home can never cease to exist.
I’m exhausted. Supremely tired. The chemicals in my head are all out of whack.